April 18, 2017

How to Tell Someone They Have Body Odor

Today, I’d like to address a pretty sensitive issue. It’s something that many people experience, but struggle to address. We’ve all smelt unflattering at one point or another, so let’s get off the high horse.

 But how many times have you found yourself standing next to someone and thought that your nose was going to run off your face because their odor was so torturous? This isn’t limited to bad odors either. Sometimes people overdue the ol’ “smell good sauce” which can have the opposite of its intended effect. In any situation, you wish you could tell the odorous offender, that the smell is just too much. 
Imagine you are on a morning bus, that person just ruined minutes of your morning. 

Today’s article is all about ‘how to tell a colleague/friend they smell’, and it’s a very tricky issue to tackle.You see, even if a colleague’s body odour is bad enough to make your eyes water and consider calling in sick, you care so much about offending anyone. 
If you’ve ever endured days, weeks or even months cooped up in a cubicle next to somebody who perhaps has a poor personal hygiene standards, then you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s a problem that can have a hugely negative impact on an entire team, department or even workforce, and so today, I’ll be looking at how to ‘confront’ your colleague respectfully, while helping them to maintain a good degree of dignity.

1. Create a Comfortable Setting
This isn’t the kind of topic you should be discussing outside in front of people. The best way to prepare for your discussion, is to create a comfortable setting – for example, you might want to invite your colleague/friend to the local café for lunch. Doing this reduces the risk of embarrassment that might arise if other colleagues are close by, and the friendly, casual setting also helps you to show your colleague that whatever you’re about to say is not a personal attack.

2. Assure Your Colleague You Like Them
Once you are both at the designated location, you’ll need to build a bit of rapport and create as relaxed an environment as possible. If you blurt everything out straight away, you risk offending your colleague – instead, you should start with a little bit of light chatter, and then slowly introduce the idea that you have something you would like to talk about. You should also tell them that the topic you’d like to discuss is very sensitive – perhaps even explaining that you were in two minds whether or not to even mention it – and explain that you’re telling them because you are their friend, and you have their own personal interests at heart.

3. Give Your Colleague a Choice
Once you have explained that you have a sensitive issue to discuss, and that you are telling them as a friend, you should finally explain that what you are about to say might cause offense, and therefore it is up to them if they wish to hear it or not. It is very unlikely that they will say no, yet giving them this choice is a very powerful way of handing a bit of control in their direction, while reminding them that this is not a personal attack.

4. Explain the Issue Respectfully
It’s time to take the plunge. Try to downplay the issue a little, to help them feel less embarrassed. For example, you might want to tell them that you’ve noticed, on one or two occasions during hot weather, that even though you’re sure they shower regularly, they give off body odour. Of course, it isn’t always body odour – some people might smell because they own a lot of animals and perhaps don’t realise the smell is sticking to their clothes; but this is just an example, and the important part is making sure you don’t embarrass them completely by telling them in no uncertain terms that they always stink!
5. Re-Confirm Your Relationship
Once you have finished what you have to say, it is important to remind your colleague that you are only telling them this because you are their friend, and that you’d rather they heard it from you, right now, in case anybody in the office noticed in the future (this helps them to worry less that it’s been an on-going problem that everybody is talking about). You can end your conversation by asking if they are offended, and asking if they think you did the right thing – this will help them to believe that you really do have their best interests at heart, and will remind them that your working relationship is not at risk.

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I will be talking more about Natural Deodorants by Schmidts so subscribe to the newsletter so you do not miss out on anything.
https://www.peoplehr.com/blog/index.php/2015/08/21/office-problems-how-to-tell-a-colleague-they-smell/ :ref